(FIVE 1960 INTERVIEWS WITH DR. LINUS PAULING)
THE WAR AGAINST WAR - One (Nov. 2, 1960)
by Virgina Mill & Robert Carl Cohen
The Enemies of Peace: Cold War Profiteers, Politicians and the Press
COHEN: Do you think there's a possibility of disarmament agreements being reached in the near future?
PAULING: 0h, I believe that there will be disarmament agreements formulated and accepted in the course or time, and this may be (in) a good number of years, that will lead to complete disarmament in all the nations of the world. For a long time there will continue to be revolutions involving the use of force and violence, although I am opposed to them.
I myself am not in favor of the use of force, or to (creating) situations which make it necessary to use force.
People, as our forefathers here in America pointed out, have the right to free themselves from an oppressive government. and sometimes it is not possible to achieve this without force. As internationalism becomes effective, we will have less of revolution by the use of force and violence.
COHEN: What would you say have been the major developments in the struggle for disarmament here in the United States?
PAULING: There have been peace movements in the world for a long time, although I think we can say that they have hardly been effective until now. It has taken the development of atomic super bombs and the manufacture of great stockpiles of nuclear weapons and missiles to make the peace movement effective. It is now perfectly clear to the leaders and to those people who understand the situation that no great nation can benefit from war. We would all be destroyed - so we are now forced to abandon war.
MILL: How would you characterize or define the peace movement?
PAULING: The peace movement in the United States today involves a large number or different kinds of people and different activities. The scientists have been closely connected with it from the first, since 1945. The scientists of the original atomic bomb project tried to keep the bomb from being used. There were a few chief administrators who favored using the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but the scientists as a whole were opposed to it.
Then, after the war, the scientists strove in Washington to prevent military control of atomic energy. They achieved civilian control through the McMahon Bill. Starting in the summer of l945, I began, as a representative scientist, to give talks about what the atomic bomb is like, and how terrible these weapons are. Other scientists were doing this, too; and the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists was set up. Professor Einstein was the Chairman, and he wrote an appeal entitled "Only Then Shall We Find Courage," which was printed in the New York TImes Magazine in June, l946. Harold Urey was Vice Chairman, and Hans Bethe, Selig Hecht, Philip Morrison, Thorfin Hogness, Leo Szilard, Linus Pauling and Victor Weiskopf were the members. This continued until 1950, when it came to an end. There were difficulties, partly the strain on Professor Einstein.
Professor Einstein said that the great weapons that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were so terrible that we no longer can have war, that we would have to develop international law, and that the United States should take the lead in this; but his appeal wasn't listened to.
Time went by. In l954, a super bomb was exploded at Bikini that was a thousand times more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. The United States government didn't announce it, but Japanese scientists, physicist Ralph Lapp in America, and scientists in England were able to decide from the fallout evidence just what this bomb really was.
MILL: The Japanese made extensive investigations, did they not, and we didn't get news of it?
PAULING: Yes. It was suppressed. Our government, the government authorities, military authorities, said that the Japanese scientists' methods just weren't any good, that there was nothing to what they said, when they said that there must have been such a bomb, and that it involved fusion of ordinary uranium at the third stage. It was later admitted, of course, that a super bomb had, indeed, been set off.
In l956 (Adlai) Stevenson proposed a ban on bomb tests. Then, on the 24th of April, 1957, there came the "Declaration of Conscience" by Albert Schweitzer. It was broadcast in all of the countries of the world except America. The United States broadcasting companies didn't carry it at all. Only the Saturday Review and the Daily Trojan, the University of Southern California student paper, carried it at that time.
It was little more than a month earlier that I wrote the "Appeal by American scientists;" and it was announced on the 4th of June, 1957. Now that became the "Petition to the United Nations." Also, about the same time, in 1957, Norman Cousins and Clarence Pickett, as Co-Chairmen, set up the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy. The Quakers, of course, have been working for decades, centuries, for peace, and are continuing to. The Unitarians also have worked effectively, and the American Friends Service Committee. There were many organizations, moreover, in many towns and cities in the country, small individual peace groups were set up, just some people who got together and wrote pamphlets and collected money.
MILL: In recent years, that is?
PAULING: Yes, in the last fifteen years. So that there has been a lot of activity on the popular level, individual citizens working for peace. I think there are now about thirty thousand members of the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE). Now the attack on the Committee has come only recently.
MILL: Do you know anything about the Consultative Peace Council?
MILL: It's a group, decades old, of organizations like the Friends Service Committee.
PAULING: Oh, yes. It's an organization of organizations who cooperate in their peace activities. When I speak - I've been giving a hundred speeches a year on peace, a hundred public lectures - my talks are usually sponsored by the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, or the American Friends Service Committee, the First Unitarian Church or the Methodist Church - often there's a church associated in the sponsoring group. During the last year or two the churches have been increasingly associating themselves with the peace movement. Before this they'd kept aloof because of widespread feeling that it was wrong to make peace with Russia; that we should try to overthrow the Russian government and liberate the Russian people.
As it became understood, however, that the only thing that would happen if such an attempt were ever made would be that all of the Russian people and all of the American people would be killed, the morality of this sort of "liberation" became doubtful to the church people, and so they became part of the peace movement. I think that, in this country, the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy has become the most active and effective organization working for peace. And it is now under attack by Senator Dodd.
MILL: Yes, and as a result there has been some question about the way Norman Cousins handled the questioning by the Senate Internal Security Sub-Committee.
PAULING: That's right. There's internal dissension now in SANE. Many people think that Norman Cousins, as a member of its Board of Directors, made a mistake in knuckling under to Dodd. Of course I didn't knuckle under. And I think that the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy will come out all right. But just what it will do is hard to see. I feel that even though there's a fight going on to change our policy and to prevent international (peace) agreements from being made, it won't be successful.
COHEN: Dr. Pauling, you have claimed that there is a powerful campaign underway to restart nuclear bomb testing and prevent disarmament. Could you elaborate upon this?
PAULING: It is evident that there are people in the USA who are working to change the policy of our government. I don't say that there is a formal conspiracy. It is probably more of a loose connection between a large number of people with mutual interests: including Doctor Teller, the various Cold War profiteers, and now Senator Dodd of Connecticut.
On the 12th of May, l960, Senator Dodd made a long speech in the Senate entitled "The Eight Fallacies of the Nuclear Test Ban." In this speech he advocated that we reverse the present policy of holding off on further bomb testing. This policy is supported by President Eisenhower, but it has been fought by both the Atomic Energy Commission and the Pentagon. Instead of advocating international agreements leading to disarmament and peace, Senator Dodd calls for restarting nuclear bomb tests immediately and spending even more money on weapons.
There are others doing this as well: Mr. Thomas G. Lanphier, Jr., according to Time Magazine, was a vice-president of the Missile Manufacturing Division of Convair at $60,000 per year. A few months ago the newspapers announced that he had quit his job in order to embark on a campaign of public lectures, television appearances and newspaper articles designed to convince the public that we should increase our defense budget.
Then there is Doctor Teller. There's no doubt that his reputation is based upon his having been called the "Father of the H-bomb." He has become a well known man who is in the public eye and who Is asked to write stories and do other jobs because of this. He is connected especially with H-bomb activity and to some extent with the uses of nuclear energy for peace-time explosives, and is one of the chief opponents of a nuclear test ban. Moreover, he is a Hungarian by birth and an emotional man. It may be that his emotions overcome his judgment about some of these matters?
On the other hand, I believe that the best way to work for the safety of the United States is to work for the best achievable systems of control and inspection. We must make international agreements that will lead to peace. We must utilize our national resources for the benefit of the people of the USA, and to help the rest of the world too. This is the way for our nation to be a strong and leading nation.
The people who are working against these ideas, who are working for militarism, are enemies of the United States!
COHEN: Do you really feel that people like Doctor Teller and Senator Dodd are enemies of our country?
PAULING: Yes. I think they are working against the best interests of the United States.
COHEN: What reasons would they have for doing such things?
PAULING: I'm sure that there is a very great factor of personal benefit from the Cold War involved. There's a tremendous amount of profiteering going on. The military budget is forty-one billion dollars a year. I estimate that five billion dollars a year of this goes as excess profits to those people who are connected in one way or another with the activity.
I have just been reading in Fortune, September, 1960, an article called "The Egghead Millionaires." This is an article about young men in their thirties who have had some scientific or technical training, and who have become millionaires during the last few years, almost entirely through defense contracts.
Here in Pasadena I know many outstanding scientists, really leading scientists, among the best in the world. They are reimbursed by society with salaries of ten thousand or fifteen thousand dollars a year. And I think it is justified that they should receive a good salary. I wonder, however, about another man who lives here in Pasadena, Frank Jameson, who is mentioned in this Fortune article. Frank Jameson is not a scientist. He is the former president of Pacific Automation Products, a company that produces cable systems for missiles. He is thirty-five. Two years ago he sold half of his stock in this company for two and three quarters million dollars, nearly three million dollars. He is described in Fortune as owning an air-conditioned Cadillac with a uniformed chauffeur who doubles as bodyguard, a 110 foot schooner, and a plane and pilot ready to leave on ten minutes notice. What has he done for society to justify his having become a rich man in this short time? Can you compare him with Prof. Carl Anderson or Prof. George Beadle, or other members of the staff of the California Institute of Technology who have made really important discoveries that will benefit the world for all time?
It is very interesting that one of the young millionaires is quoted as saying "The Defense Department has abdicated the defense of the country to organizations more interested in increasing their payroll than in national security." There's no doubt that we have in this country a very powerful group of people, "defense contractors," so-called, who are profiting greatly from the military activities, and who will oppose international agreements that lead to a decrease in the military budget.
MILL: What organizations, if any, do you believe are trying to restart nuclear bomb testing and prevent disarmament agreements?
PAULING: The Internal Security Sub-Committee of the U.S. Senate seems to be doing it. Then, John McCone, Chairman or the Atomic Energy Commission opposes the international agreement that is being negotiated at Geneva and has been trying to keep the President from supporting it wholeheartedly. The AEC as an organization is working against the bomb test agreement. The Pentagon is also an organization with vested interest in the Cold War; and it has been working against the effort to make an international agreement that, in my opinion, will increase the safety of the United States. Then, for example, I can mention one private business firm, the Allen Bradley Company of Madison, Wisconsin, that published public advertisements last August 31st, 1959, saying, "Let there be no deals with Krushchev." This company is a manufacturer of electronic components and has a real possibility of a financial interest in the continuation of the Cold War. Other organizations may well be doing this, other defense contractors like Convair, whose Mister Lanphier quit his job as vice-president in order to advocate an increase in the military budget.
MILL: What about the information that is made available by organizations like the Rand Corporation?
PAULING: Well, I don't know the activities of the Rand Corporation in a detailed enough way to make a really broad statement. I do think, however, that the scientists who are connected with the Rand Corporation are somewhat schizophrenic. On the one hand they are making a study, not on as grand a scale as the government ought to be doing, but a study nevertheless on the significance of atomic weapons, atomic stockpiles, and nuclear stockpiles to the modern world. While on the other hand there are people connected with the Rand Corporation like Mr. Herman Kahn, who are clearly engaged in propaganda activities against international agreements and for nuclear war.
Mister Kahn is supported by the Rand Corporation and other groups in giving lectures in which he discusses the possibility that a nuclear war would really not be too bad; that it wouldn't really destroy the United States completely. Perhaps it isn't necessary for us to accept the idea that we are forced to have peace in the world? We might be able to go ahead and have nuclear war and still survive? So why don't we plan to do that? Well, since this is what Mr. Kahn is saying, I have to class him in the category of people who are working to make the immorality of war respectable enough to be supported by both the Democrats and the Republicans.
COHEN: Do you have any opinions concerning the advocacy of a preemptive war?
PAULING: Yes, I've read statements that have been made. Mr. Kahn himself has made statements of just this sort. He has discussed it in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and in his various lectures. I have heard him lecture and I appeared on "The Open End" (TV) program with him and Norman Thomas. Mr. Kahn has said there might be circumstances under which we would feel that it was more sensible to initiate nuclear war than to continue with Cold War pressures, or to await a Russian attack.
COHEN: Would you say that many of the people who are attacking the movement towards peace are more concerned with their own short-term advantage than with the future of humanity?
PAULING: They may not realize it. It may be that they are blind, and perhaps their subconscious operates in such a way as to keep them from facing the situation in a straightforward way; and keep them from realizing what they are doing. You know, people are complicated, and often they don't understand their own reactions.
MILL: Is it possible that some of them really want war?
PAULING: There may be some people who are willing to face war. Mr. Kahn seems to be willing to face the prospects of war and to be working to get the rest of the Americans to accept a war. He wants us to be satisfied if we can save half of the American people and shield the rural countryside from too great devastation, even though we have to sacrifice all the cities and metropolitan districts.
I don't know that I can understand Mr. Kahn in this. Ten percent of the American people spend some part of their lives in a mental hospital. My investigations in the field of mental illness with my Ford Foundation grant during the last four years have led me to an appreciation of how far from real sanity many people are, how unwilling to face the unpleasant features of the world. Sometimes, as I listen to Mr. Kahn or to Doctor Teller talking, I have a hard time believing that they really are sane!
Governor Rockefeller has also advocated a great shelter program; asking five million dollars for a shelter at Albany, New York for himself and his staff. Such a shelter would not by any means insure his surviving a nuclear bomb attack on Albany; and if similar shelters were to be built for everybody in the United States, the cost would be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. I think that it is just ignorance in his case, because I believe that he is an honest man who states what he believes, and who would not be willing to descend to the immorality of misleading the American people about this important matter. I wish that I had been able in the past to talk to him for even a few minutes about this.
I think that Nixon, on the other hand, knows what the facts are because he has been a member of the advisory group around the President that has discussed these matters. His advocacy of an increase in the armaments budget for the United States has a purely political basis. He thinks that it will get votes. I think his present position would not be binding upon him at all if he were to become President. He would be a more sensible man about these matters as President than he is as a candidate.
In the case of Mr. Kennedy, I'm doubtful if he knows what the facts are. He is as much of a politician as Nixon is, but I'm not sure that he knows what the facts are about the safety of the United States in relation to international agreements and to such matters as fallout shelters. I don't remember that Kennedy has committed himself about fallout shelters, but he has committed himself about an increase in the military budget. Of course, this may not be binding on him, either, when he becomes President.
COHEN: Do our magazines and newspapers print the truth about the dangers of nuclear testing and a continued armaments buildup, or do they cooperate with the enemies of disarmament?
PAULING: For example, a little over two years ago an article by Dr. Teller and Dr. Latter was published in Life magazine which was an attack on me. The heading said: "Dr. Teller Refutes Nine Thousand Scientists." There were many false and misleading statements in this article. I wrote a reply with just the same number of words as the article itself, but Life would not publish it despite the fact that the original article was an attack on me.
COHEN: Did Life ever explain to you why they would not publish your reply?
PAULING: They sent me a letter saying that they had published a short letter to the editor by me, a hundred words, and that that was enough to meet this 2,000 word article. I tried Look, The Saturday Evening Post, The Ladies Home Journal, and the Readers Digest. None of them would publish my rebuttal to the Teller-Latter article. That's why I wrote my book, No More War, which I did get published.
MILL: Have you ever been approached, at any time, by any national magazine for a story?
PAULING: Oh, I've been approached often for stories by the Saturday Evening Post, for example, but they wouldn't accept my story on the dangers of nuclear testing, the need for disarmament, or some similar matter. They wanted it to be only about some aspect of my pure scientific work. I've also been approached by the Readers Digest to write an article for them about some such ungrammatical expression as: "The Most Unique Character I've Ever Known." I didn't answer their letter.
MILL: Would you say that they were more interested in using your name to gain prestige than in publishing what you wanted to say?
PAULING: That's right. Now, the newspapers give coverage which can't be described as bad to my activities for peace. I make news, and the newspapers give me pretty good coverage. For other people and other activities involving peace, the newspaper coverage, in general, is poor. When we held a peace march here in Los Angeles on July 9th, 1960, three thousand or more people marched and I spoke. The newspapers published only rather small reports, and some carried one photo. When my wife and I participated in a peace march in San Francisco on the fifteenth of May of this year, the Los Angeles Times said that only two hundred people had marched to Union Square.
MILL: How many were there?
PAULING: There were really three thousand. It seems to me that the peace movement is misrepresented, especially in the very right-wing, anti-liberal newspapers.
COHEN: Do you think that when the publisher of a newspaper or magazine hears that the head of the Atomic Energy Commission says that there is no danger from fallout, he might tend to publish this sort of statement in preference to one of yours about the dangers of fallout merely because the AEC is a government agency and he respects his government?
PAULING: This is what was going on five years ago, four years ago, and three years ago to a much smaller extent. At the present time, however, even Doctor Teller says we don't want to pollute the atmosphere because we know that the radioactive materials cause damage. He says that all we
want to do is to carry out the bomb tests underground where you don't get any pollution. And even Senator Dodd now says that no bomb tests should be carried out that would pollute the atmosphere with radioactive material.
This part or the fight at least has been won now. The whole world knows about the damage that is done by radioactivity from bomb tests. Public opinion is so strong in this field that not even the most ardent supporters of bomb testing and the Cold War advocate that the bomb tests be carried out above the surface of the ground.
There continues to be a call for restarting bomb tests, however, and this is a great danger to our nation. If we follow the policy of refusing to make international agreements to prevent war, of increasing our military budget, or carrying out more nuclear bomb tests, and of trying to keep ahead of the Russians in the powers of destruction, while the Russians, in turn, try to keep ahead of us, why then, we shall continue this arms race that can only end in catastrophe for the United States, Russia, and the rest of the world as well. I think that the USA can be a leading nation and a powerful force in the world of the future only by following another course, not the course of militarism and reliance upon power, but the course of reliance upon international law and morality.